A dog’s most powerful sense is their sense of smell, dogs just love to sniff! Giving dogs opportunities to use their nose in the home is hugely enriching for them. Snuffle mats are great ways to do this. Simply sprinkle their food or treats onto the mat and allow them to use their noses and brains to find it! This is also great to slow down fast eaters. A dog spending 5-10 minutes using a snuffle mat can actually tire them out as much as an hour long walk. This is perfect for days when you perhaps can’t take your dog for as long a walk as usual. It is mentally stimulating in the same way as reading a novel is for us! You can even use snuffle mats for your other pets including cats and small furries!
Creating your own snuffle mat is easy and inexpensive. Although a little time consuming, it can easily be done in a couple of evenings in front of the tv.
YOU WILL NEED:
Rubber doormat – mine was £4 from Wilkos
Fleece – you can either buy some cheap fleece blankets or use old dog blankets
Cut up your fleece into strips – 4-5cm wide, about 20-30cm long.
The neatness and uniformity of these strips really doesn’t matter much.
Your dog really won’t mind!
Now begin making the mat by feeding
the fleece strip between two of the holes and tying a knot. The knotted side of the mat is the one your dog will be using.
Continue tying these knots with your strips of fleece, start by going around the edge and then work your way inwards.
Once you have covered the mat in knots of fleece one way, cover the mat in knots the other way.
I.E. Once the mat is covered in vertical knots, cover the mat with horizontal knots so there is more than one knot in each hole. This will prevent food/treats falling through the mat.
You are finished!
Simply turn the mat over and sprinkle in your dog’s favourite dry food or treats.
Even dogs which aren’t particularly sniffy love working with snuffle mats!